The floodgates have opened, and the rushing waters of pre-Paris concept car previews are flowing strongly. Toyota has released a first look at its all-new C-HR Concept, which provides a sneak preview of new design language Toyota plans to bring to production.

As auto manufacturers have moved away from SUVs, toward smaller, more fuel-efficient crossovers, utility vehicles have taken a decided turn away from truck-like construction and styling in favor of car-like design. No longer is the utility vehicle a truck with integrated cap; it's much more like a ruggedized hatchback/wagon. Some of the latest crossover concepts, including the Audi TT offroad, take car-like design to new heights, rolling onto the podium as little more than modestly sized sedans/coupes with big tires and AWD systems.


More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.


The latest stage of the utility vehicle's evolution, which is poised to unfold at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, shrinks tall, beefy crossover cabins into sleek, sedan/coupe-like profiles. We see it on the QUARTZ concept from the home team over at Peugeot, and now the C-HR is preparing to bring another interpretation westward.

From the initial pictures Toyota released today, we see a sporty, sloped cabin that's set so low it all but eliminates the rear windshield. As with the QUARTZ, the cabin design gives the concept the feel of a sporty sedan merging with the high, big-wheeled lower body of a muscular crossover. That lower body gets faceted surface elements inspired by the precision cuts of a diamond.

Toyota says that the C-HR gives "an early hint" at the type of vehicle it hopes to bring the market in the future. It also says the design language has a clear future, pointing to the front end, specifically, as an example of design cues that will find their way into its lineup. Outside of calling the concept a hybrid, it doesn't provide any information about the hardware at work below the bluish-purple body. Hopefully, it'll have more concrete details at the concept's October 2 debut.

Gizmag will be on the floor of this year's Paris Motor Show, and the C-HR has piqued our interest enough to move Toyota up a few notches on our mental list of automakers we need to spend some time with. We'll have more details and live photos from the show.

Source: Toyota Europe

View gallery - 3 images